Monday, September 14, 2009

Lost Musical Treasures in My Closet # 2: The Connells - Ring

Back in 1993, yeah, that's sixteen years ago, after a few moderately successful albums but problems with a record label causing a three-year hiatus in their recording, this little re-energized band from Raleigh, North Carolina called The Connells put out the CD that I consider the height of their career, Ring. I had really enjoyed The Connells' One Simple Word previously, and Fun & Games and Boylan Heights had been pretty good as well. Ring, however, brought everything together for the band, as they hit on every song. Here's a CD that, for me, had no weak moments, and the music is as fresh today as it was sixteen years ago and will be after sixteen more, I'm quite certain.

What I really love is when every single song from a CD, at different times, encaptivates me. Very, very few CDs pull this off. Ring did for me. Over time, though, and even now, I'll still have one of Ring's tunes breezing through my mind. It's one thing to have a bad song stuck in your mind -- that's bothersome -- but when Doug MacMillan's soothing voice echoes one of Ring's ditties in between my ears, it's always welcome.

Of the twelve songs, I can only remember the up-tempo Slackjawed, the single New Boy, and the haunting '74-'75 getting any radio airplay at all. Nevertheless, any of the songs seemed radio-ready to me. Upbeat numbers like Carry My Picture, Hey You, and Burden along with the aforementioned Slackjawed were interspersed with mid- and slower-tempo songs, but all of them had immediate hooks, and I was in love. After a few Connells CDs that I thought were great in the front half but a little weaker on the B-side, Ring doesn't falter but actually picks up. Spiral and Disappointed, two slower songs, sandwich the the rocking Hey You and stellar New Boy, which is a string of songs that I'd say highlights the CD if Slackjawed and Running Mary, the fantastic closer, weren't also such banner songs.

When I found Ring just the other day in a stack of CDs, I fell in love all over again.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how just the right music can make your day. One of my Michael Card cds helped me through a tough two weeks once. It's amazing how the songs were just right for my situation. Even now, hearing that set of songs brings back the pain and joy of that time.

Yesterday I went to YouTube and played several Monkee tunes. They brought back a little energy of my youth. :o)

Here we come, walking down the street. Get the funniest looks from everyone we meet....


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Diabolical Genius said...

We can neither confirm nor deny the use of "extra-human help" in maintaining the blog here at The Realm of Possibility.

Thank you.
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